Empower Yourself with Positive Self-Talk
By Iain Legg
The way you speak to yourself mentally and verbally has a powerful impact on your self-image. Berating or belittling yourself, minimizing your achievements or doubting your capabilities will most definitely create a sense of disempowerment, limiting your potential in virtually every aspect of your life.
On the other hand, positive and encouraging self-talk will contribute to inner strength and self-respect, which will drastically alter the way you see yourself and your potential in life.
Self-talk is like a recording that constantly plays in your mind, and much of the time you're unaware of it because it occurs on a subconscious level. The messages you receive from this recording can include limiting beliefs that were formed throughout your lifetime, as well as negative or derogatory input from your present environment.
The good news is that these recorded messages CAN be changed! It's even quite simple to do, but requires commitment, determination and consistent effort. Below are a few simple ways you can use positive self-talk to change your mental recording and empower yourself:
- Build yourself up. If you've gotten used to tearing yourself down, you may not even notice how harshly you speak to yourself - but you'll find yourself feeling sad, frustrated or guilty without understanding why. To turn this around, you simply need to begin making a conscious choice to build yourself up as often as possible. Get into the habit of speaking encouragingly and expressing positive thoughts about yourself. For example, rather than saying, "Oh, you are such an idiot!" when you make a mistake, say, "Hey, that's all right, everyone makes mistakes! Next time you'll do better."
- Look at yourself in the mirror daily and find three positive things to say about yourself. You can compliment your physical features, personality traits or accomplishments - but be sure they are genuine compliments because your subconscious mind will know if you're "lying."
- Most importantly, make it a daily habit to speak to yourself like you would a good friend who is in need of support and encouragement. You'd never say horrible, mean things to them, so don't say them to yourself either!
- Cheer yourself on. Rather than dreading a difficult task and doubting your capabilities, become your own best cheerleader! When you're getting ready to tackle something challenging, take a few minutes to scream and shout mentally that "you can do it; you can do it; you can do it!"
- Also, be sure to regularly praise yourself for a job well done. These don't have to be big accomplishments - just something to which you gave your best effort. For example, you could say to yourself, "I'm really proud of the way I handled that rude customer. I kept my cool and remained professional while I handled the problem." Or, "I'm so proud of myself for finishing that project before deadline! Now I've got a couple of hours I can devote to myself, and I definitely deserve some downtime."
- Love, love, love yourself. We often have the perception that self-love will happen naturally once we change something about ourselves (like losing weight or achieving a goal) but self-love has to come first! Begin expressing love for yourself exactly as you are on a regular basis. Love yourself not for the things you've done or plan to do, but WHO you are. Love your uniqueness, your personality, your character traits and everything else that makes you who you are. The more you love yourself, the stronger and more positive you'll feel about your life.
You may feel silly following some of these suggestions at first because they're likely different from the way you normally treat yourself. But the more you work with them and focus on having fun with them, the more effective they'll be in erasing those old, negative messages and replacing them with more positive, empowering messages.